The Worst Enemy of a Used Car Shopper

Convertible pickup?

The perfect vehicle for someone. Maybe.

My friend Dan tells a lot of stories.

On Friday the topic of conversation turned to cars and, of course, Dan had a story to tell. He spun a yarn about how he once went to a dealership looking for a pickup, but left with a convertible.

Now that’s just exceptionally poor willpower combined with a complete lack of focus. The first rule about buying a car is to find one that fits your needs. It’s one of those things that shouldn’t even need saying, but if you need a truck to haul a boat or load a couple yards of bark, don’t buy a convertible.

I never thought I’d need to write those words, but Dan’s story illustrates what can happen when impulse takes control of your car shopping.

Emotion plays a huge role in the car buying process, which can sometimes lead to buying the wrong set of wheels. I advise that the absolute worst way to begin car shopping is to casually start visiting car lots. More likely than not, you’ll stumble across a vehicle you fall in love with. Your mind, and your salesman, will convince you that you simply *must* have it, regardless of whether or not it’s the best car for your needs.

Determining what kind of car you need typically isn’t very difficult. You certainly don’t need an auto blogger to help you figure out whether you need a pickup or a convertible! But, once you know that your next vehicle should be a truck and you start shopping, don’t let impulse make your choice for you. If you find an F-150 and fall in love with it right away, you’re more likely to pay a higher price or sacrifice options you originally wanted.

Stay as scientific as you can through the process, and analyze the features and cost of the truck more than how much you love it. If something doesn’t add up, wait for the next deal. The CarGurus used listings can help with the process and prove that there’s always a next deal!

One thing the listings can’t protect you from is buying a convertible when you need a truck. That’s on you!

Have you ever bought a car that didn’t meet your needs?


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Used Ford F-150


  1. You and me both, Randy! Once a salesman draws those 4 squares… I’m out!

  2. When it comes to buying cars, I’m as cold as a hired killer. I’ve walked out on deal over a few hundred dollars difference, I’ve caught sales people fudging in the fine print, and they’ve tried every trick in the book on me by now.

    What I go in with is knowing the specific model I want, the specific equipment, and what a fair price should be. I almost always need to order a vehicle, because I’ve found that the vehicles most dealers have on the lot are equiped to make them extra money. For instance, recently I was at my Toyota dealer looking at pickup trucks, and of the four they had on the lot, not one had been ordered with the trailering package. Easy to understand now why that dealer doesn’t sell a lot of pickup trucks.

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